I believe, the term “Depression” has come to be used very casually and generically. What used to be earlier just “mood swings”, “boredom”, “Feeling low” and “off feelings” have now all blown up to become “Depression”.
The effect? While on one hand the normal people have started believing themselves to be suffering from a “Psychological ailment”, on the other hand many people with serious pathological “Depression” are being taken very lightly and not been provided adequate social support and treatment facilities. Either ways the effect is one of concern.
WHO says, “Depression can be long- lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing an individual’s ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life. At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide”.
Understanding DEPRESSION in its real sense puts a moral responsibility on us – NOT TO USE THE WORD CASUALLY FOR EVERY FEELING OF SADNESS, GUILT, LOSS, FRUSTRATION, IRRITABILITY ETC. in us or in our near and dear ones.
Here is what American Psychiatric Association says to us (http://www.psychiatry.org/depression): The death of a loved one, loss of a job, or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such stressful situations. BUT SADNESS and DEPRESSION are NOT THE SAME. While feelings of sadness will lessen with time, the disorder of depression can continue for months, even years.
It further states:
Depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression has a variety of symptoms, but the most common are a deep feeling of sadness or a marked loss of interest or pleasure in activities. Other symptoms include:
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